The Fine Colour of Rust Paperback – 28 Feb 2013
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‘Delightful, laugh-out-loud funny and unforgettable. I love this book’ Toni Jordan, author of Addition
‘O’Reilly is funny and touching by turns and her style has a spare intelligence that reminded me of another of my favourite authors, the great Laurie Graham’ DAILY MAIL
‘A delight … The author has a wryly-humorous touch and, once I started reading, I found it hard to put down. It’s peopled with characters who are quirky but credible, and universally recognizable’ NEW BOOKS MAG
‘Can anyone write the story of a whirligig single mother gamely and hilariously fighting development of her small town better than Paddy O'Reilly? No, and nor should they try’ WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN
‘O’Reilly displays a deft poetic touch that elevates the prose from functional to transcendent…This is a story about love: where we look for it, what we do with it and how it shows up in the most unexpected packages. It is warm, moving and funny’ BIG ISSUE, AUSTRALIA
"Delightful, laugh-out-loud funny and unforgettable. I love this book." (Toni Jordan, author of Addition)
"One of the sought-after books of the year." (The Herald Sun)
"What sets this down-home comedy apart from the norm is how wonderfully well it is written. O’Reilly is funny and touching by turns and her style has a spare intelligence." (The Daily Mail) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this story of a woman fighting to save the local school and other services in the town, standing up for what she believes in and trying to resist the slide into total cynicism and apathy. I'd hate to live in Gunapan, but I'd love to meet Loretta, her kids, and her friend Norm who owns the junkyard.
I hope there are plans to bring O'Reilly's first novel and her short story collection out over here soon, very soon.
The author's protagonist is a woman you will find in any small town, she is a single mother juggling child raising with work, a budget that only allows for discounted undies and a longing for an intimate relationship. Loretta copes with the spareness of her life with a wicked sense of humour, and roll-up-your-sleeves and get-on-with-it attitude. Her children are everything to her, even though she regularly fantasises about being whisked away from their whining demands. Raising her two children on her own isn't easy, they miss their father and his sudden (though mercifully brief) reappearance seems to trigger their worst instincts leaving Loretta floundering.
Loretta isn't completely alone, her neighbour, Norm - a laconic and slightly eccentric collector - is her dearest friend and champion. Her best friend is also a single woman on the prowl and in a community like Gunupan everyone knows everyone else.
In an unconscious effort to stave off her loneliness, Loretta rallies the community in an effort to stop the closure of their school and when that is accomplished, finds a new cause involving a shady development deal and corruption Councillors. In a small town like Gunapan the community is the lifeblood of the town and depends on its' residents to fight for it to stay alive.Read more ›
It is a splendid read, and one that can be read for an hour, put down and picked up a day or two later without having to go back and remind yourself of details that you have forgotten and without which you lose the plot.
The whole book from the cover illustration inwards is warm and joyful. There's ups and downs that bring the book to life and that happy sad feeling at the end when you wish it just went on.
The book is written in the first person, that is Loretta O'Brian who is a feisty single mum of two kids; Melissa who is 11 and already a teen in her attitude, and Jake a typical 8 year old boy. Loretta loves her kids, yet is often promising herself that she will drop them off at the nearest orphanage or simply sell them!
I thought that was a bit harsh! but of course she never means it.
I enjoyed the book and I liked Loretta and her two kids. I liked her friend Norm. and I enjoyed disliking her husband from whom she is separated.
Loretta is campaigning to keep the town's small school open, she also discovers that there are plans to build a holiday spa resort for outsiders to visit. Nothing for the locals. As she digs in to find out what is going on she doesn't always make herself popular. Everyone has their own agenda. There is also a mysterious family keeping themselves separate who turn out to be refugees from Bosnia. This thread adds some connectedness to the outside world which doesn't really intrude on small town life in Gunapan.
Norm, my favourite character has a huge junkyard where customers spend more time gossiping than buying. Norm is like a grandfather to Melissa and Jake. (He has his own grown up son who makes an appearance later in the novel). It is Norm's junk yard that supplies the title of the book.
As I read the book I could feel the heat, temperature wise, even in our winter and I could really believe in Loretta as a real person. The plot isn't so important as the characters and their ups and downs with each other. There is plenty of humour and some sadness. A good book to curl up with and forget the cold.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read this book in two days, couldn't wait to find out what would happen. Sad, funny, thought provoking throughout. Highly recommend it.Published on 24 Dec. 2013 by L Greechan
This is a fantastic book which I would highly recommend. Wittily written and a most charming story. I will look out for other PA O'Reilly booksPublished on 11 May 2013 by sue brown
I enjoyed this story of a small town with people with big hearts. The main character, a single mum, finds herself in the role of a small town Erin Brocavich and takes it on with... Read morePublished on 29 Mar. 2013 by Hazel
This book is set in Gunapan, a Victorian small town with a lot of dust and Loretta, a single mother looking after her 2 kids after being abandoned by their loser father. Read morePublished on 21 Jan. 2013 by Coaster
Found the book a bit hard to start with but it wasn't long before I was hooked. Just an every day woman with everyday thoughts a bout her life and the kids. Really enjoyed it.Published on 17 Dec. 2012 by joanna
This is definitely readable. I read it on the metro going to and from work. It doesn't require much thought and passed the time well enough. Read morePublished on 4 Dec. 2012 by walkingstick
This is a humorous book about the residents of Gunapan, a small town in the Austrailian bush. The story revolves around single mother, Loretta Boskovic and her crusade to save... Read morePublished on 13 Nov. 2012 by C. Colley
This is an extract from my full review, which you can find on my website: [...]
If you're looking for something fast-paced and where the action explodes off the page,... Read more
This is an excellent book that is very well written, with a story that is well told.
It is one of those books that are relaxing and a pure joy to read, and I have no... Read more